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Osteoporosis (cont.)

What Are Symptoms and Signs of Osteoporosis?

Early in the course of the disease, osteoporosis may cause no symptoms. Later, it may cause height loss or dull pain in the bones or muscles, particularly low back pain or neck pain.

Later in the course of the disease, sharp pains may come on suddenly. The pain may not radiate (spread to other areas); it may be made worse by activity that puts weight on the area, may be accompanied by tenderness, and generally begins to subside in one week. Pain may linger more than three months.

People with osteoporosis may not even recall a fall or other trauma that might cause a broken bone, such as in the spine or foot. Spinal compression fractures may result in loss of height with a stooped posture (called a dowager's hump).

Fractures at other sites, commonly the hip or bones of the wrist, usually result from a fall.

When Should Someone Seek Medical Care for Osteoporosis?

If you are past menopause and have constant pain in areas such as the neck or lower back, consult your doctor for further evaluation. If you are at risk for developing osteoporosis (see risk factors above), also consult your doctor for a medical assessment and bone density screening.

Go to the hospital if you feel severe pain in your muscles or bones that limits your ability to function. Go to the hospital's emergency department if you have sustained trauma or suspect fractures of your spine, hip, or wrist.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/27/2016

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Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Osteoporosis:

Osteoporosis - Symptoms

The symptoms of osteoporosis can vary greatly from patient to patient. What were your symptoms at the onset of your disease?

Osteoporosis - Treatment

Please describe how you're treating your osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis - Share Your Experience

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Osteoporosis »

Osteoporosis is a systemic skeletal disorder characterized by decreased bone mass and deterioration of bony microarchitecture.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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